I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year. The reasons are many.
- I’m finishing up Folley & Mallory #4, which is turning out so great;
- I’m starting work on a new project, which is either Folley #1 (ahahaa whoops things I never planned on) or Fates, or some combination thereof;
- I’ve, dare I say it, outgrown NaNoWriMo.
I think NaNo can be great for beginning writers. I took part in it for many years — in fact, I first drafted Rings of Anubis during a NaNo November. Watermark also came from a NaNo November! I think what the month does best for writers is get them accustomed to sitting down and doing the work.
Eventually, you learn this. It becomes a part of you. You learn the best way you work — I don’t write every day but when I am writing, I am consistently putting down 1500-2000 words in a session. Did NaNo teach me this? I don’t know.
If you write long enough — and are lucky enough to sell some books — your life is basically novel-writing month. You’re always working on something, even if you’re researching/building the foundation. My brain is never not making something, so there’s no need to set aside an entire month.
If you are taking part in NaNo, I hope you write your ass off. Don’t worry about hitting 50k — I’m serious. Have fun, make some words, learn something about your process. Don’t stress if you don’t write every day.
This weekend, I finished reading Waking the Moon (Elizabeth Hand). It was glorious, but Beth and I both had some questions about the ending. And something Beth said made me remember a book I wrote way back when I was a brand new writer.
It started as a short story, the one I workshopped at Con Jose, where everyone basically said “this is a novel.” I felt like a failure — I meant to write a short story, damn it! But. I wrote that novel, didn’t I. I wrote it, and didn’t do much with it. I slid it away, and then yesterday I thought about it, and and and
It’s absolutely me. It’s weird and creepy; four generations of women come into their own, working to rid their family of a long-present evil, and omg. I didn’t know what I was writing back then. I might have a better idea now. And it’s exciting.
I almost can’t even.
But I’m going to.